I learned about Richard and Eliza after reading through my great aunt Dorothy’s papers. Richard it seemed was born in Northamptonshire around 1824 and Dorothy had noted that he had travelled to Australia with the 51st regiment of the British army around 1841, living there until he died in Sydney in 1887. Further information about the regiment can be found below.
Dorothy’s papers included a number of references to Richard, which included a birth certificate from 1858 for his son Joseph (on this Richard is shown to be a Dray Proprietor) and a note, handwritten by Dorothy, which detailed a memorial, showing that Richard died aged 64 in 1887 leaving a wife and 12 children. (I subsequently found that prior to marrying Eliza, he was married to Anne who died in 1845.)
Searching for further information, I found the hand written note matched an entry on the Ancestry UK website and this enabled me to locate both the death index, (which names Richard’s parents as Richard and Mary) and details of the grave in Rookwood Cemetery, New South Wales.
Grant Skinner at the cemetery kindly sent me the photos that appear here – these not only showed the grave that Dorothy wrote about but also that other family members were buried in the same place.
Grant advised ‘The rear of the memorial (photo 0348) is all blank with the three x other faces having multiple inscriptions and the plots appear to be over four or five sites wide. It appears that a wrought iron fence of some description has been removed from the kerb set of the memorial some time ago based on the patches in the sandstone, but the memorial itself is in rather good condition given its age with a bit of the kerb set sunk into a slight depression towards the front of the site, but nothing of any great concern’. Death notices for Richard can be found below.
- Death notice for Richard Shortland: The Sydney Morning Herald, 22 April 1887
- Death notice for Richard Shortland: The Sydney Morning Herald, 23 April 1887
The photo above shows the memorial, however, another Richard is recorded. The younger Richard died 24 April 1933 aged 80 years. A search of the National Library of Australia website, has I believe found newspaper articles relating to the latter and his wife.
The articles about Richard state he was ‘a descendant of Lieutenant Shortland, who discovered the port of Newcastle in September, 1797, and a great grand nephew of Rear-Admiral Shortland, of the Imperial Navy.’ The articles also provide detail of the work he did, stating ‘He was principal of the firm of Shortland and Sons who, in the early days of Sydney, were contract carriers for most of the city firms; he retired from business at the outbreak of war in 1914.’
- The Sydney Morning Herald: Wednesday 26 April 1933
- Daily Advertiser: Thursday 27 April 1933
- The Sydney Morning Herald: Thursday 27 April 1933
- The Sydney Morning Herald: Saturday 20 September 1879
- The Sydney Morning Herald: Friday 19 September 1884